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United States: NFL Players To Congress: Let's Fix The Justice System
Author: restore 13/06/2017 - 21:50:00

The war on drugs is a war most of the country, unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would like to end 

By Anquan Boldin, Malcolm Jenkins, Glover Quin, and Johnson Bademosi 

Evans Ray nearly spent his life in prison for his role in a drug deal he wanted no part of. 

Ray, a barber with a wife and four children, received a life sentence from a judge who initially tried to sentence him to 27 years for arranging a drug sale in 2007 but was ultimately forced to give him the maximum sentence: life behind bars. 

It was federal prosecutors who forced Ray, who ultimately had his sentence commuted in 2016, to face a life sentence. It is these same federal prosecutors who, under orders from their boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, must now pursue the toughest possible charges and sentences against crime suspects. 

Mr. Sessions recently announced the seismic shift in criminal justice policy, and now puts himself, the Justice Department and the Trump administration in direct opposition to what so many Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and red states and blue states, have been clamoring for, and acting on: criminal justice reform that preserves families, saves money and protects communities.

We met Ray during a recent visit to Washington, D.C. We also met Norman Brown, Kenneth Harvey and Derrick Timmons, all gentlemen with similarly profound and heartbreaking stories of how the so-called war on drugs has failed all of us. It is a war Mr. Sessions and the current administration wish to restart. It is a war most of the rest of the country would like to end. So why does Mr. Sessions want to take us backward?

Few Americans are proud of the fact that our prison population has skyrocketed over the last two decades, even as crime rates have been on the decline. The daily prison population in this country is more than twice as large as the number of people who attend every NFL football game on any given Sunday in the fall. That is an embarrassment.

Research shows that men who have spent time behind bars earn roughly 40% less in a year than their colleagues who have not.

Red and blue states have already implemented aggressive criminal justice reforms and seen the benefits of those policies, including faster declines in their crime rate. Between 2010 and 2015, according to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts using FBI crime data, the 10 states that reduced their prison population the most saw their overall crime rates drop by an average of 14.6%, while the 10 states with the fastest-growing prison populations saw a much less significant 8.4% reduction in crime.

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Original article from crrh.org:United States: NFL Players To Congress: Let's Fix The Justice System


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